2020 Review & 2021 Goals

What was 2020 like for me? And what are my goals in 2021? If you have been reading along for a while, you already know what 2020 was like, so I won’t rehash details here and just note some higher level things. My 2021 goals are probably not very exciting, but I’ll outline them here as well.
Read more

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a Happy New Year!

A Christmas Long, Long Ago

“Go to church, you’ll get a candle and a sweet roll,” my Mom says. “And you’ll be out of the apartment so we can finish all the decorating.” She doesn’t say the last part, but it is implied. For most of Christmas Eve, my Mom disappears into the living room, separated from the rest of the apartment by its own door. The murky glass of the door and its key hole were covered up after some clever kids discovered they still allowed peeking. Not this year. Besides some minimal decorations in other rooms or the Advent wreath, nothing has been decorated for Christmas yet: No tree, no ornaments, no wrapped presents. It is blind anticipation. The best kind.
Read more

Christmas Sights & Smells

What I miss most about Christmas in Germany is the Christmas markets: Hot chocolate, candied nuts and Gl├╝hwein bonbons, baked fish in a roll or a plate of steaming soup. It is a feast for the senses, though unfortunately one foreign here in the States, forcing us to be creative in making the most of the season.
Read more

Christmas Centered on the Word

Over the next few weeks, I’d like to share some of our Christmas traditions with you. Advent and Christmas are my favorite time of the year, bar none. It is an experience of the all the senses, but it must start with God’s word.
Read more

We Are Not Alone

Happy Thanksgiving! My family has much to be thankful for, even in crazy 2020. We definitely had to scale back the celebrations, but it was as enjoyable as I can remember a Thanksgiving being. Maybe you were able to spend the day with family, too. Or maybe you were alone, and the day passed with only constant reminders of that. But, Christian, you are not alone. Let’s look to the Scriptures for encouragement.
Read more

He Was Obedient

For the last few months I have been camping out in the gospels for my daily reading. I found that it helps me get to know individual books better if I read them repeatedly—who would have thought? Finishing Matthew, I was struck anew by Jesus' obedience in the Garden of Gethsemane: obedience, not to the Father, but to the Scriptures. They are, obviously, one and the same, but the emphasis surprised me. Let’s unpack Matthew 26:52ff.
Read more

Wrath to God's Glory

Being angry seems to be a virtue these days. There is no shortage of outrage and no shortage of things to be outraged about. I must admit that it wears on me, so I found C.H. Spurgeon’s devotional on “Wrath to God’s Glory” comforting.
Read more

He Reigns

November 4th, the day after the election here in the US, I drove to work. I noticed that the sun was still rising like it normally does. The laws of physics, like gravity, were also still functioning like normal. And the atoms and particles of the universe were still holding together, so Colossians 1:17 and Hebrews 2:10 were still true, which meant the rest of Scripture is also still true, like Psalm 97:1, acknowledging God’s reign over everything all the time.
Read more

Happy Reformation Day

503 years ago today, Martin Luther published his 95 theses that led to the Reformation. Also today—and for weeks leading up to today—people decorate their houses with spooky things and kids go trick-or-treating for candy around the neighborhood. Our family finds the former to be more worthy of celebration than the latter, so we started our own tradition several years ago to infuse meaning into the day. Here is how we celebrate Reformation Day.
Read more